Adding an Exterior Basement Entrance

Often when showing homes, my buyers shy away from purchasing homes that don’t  have an exterior entrance to the basement. However, there are solutions to this. 

The McKay family recently added a basement entrance to their home (built in 2002). Watch the video below to learn about the process. 

In this interview, Debbie shares why they decided to add a basement entrance, how they selected a contractor, the cost, timing, and more. 

Time frame: 3-1/2 weeks

Cost: $16,000

Contractor: 360 Construction

Downsizing with Steve & Peggy

Steve & Peggy Bird moved from a 7 bedroom home in Pleasant Grove to a 4 bedroom home in Provo. I interviewed the Birds before and after their downsizing experience.

I’ve helped numerous clients downsize and rightsize, and have worked hard to earn the Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation.

I can guide you through the emotional and logistical challenges of downsizing, as well as the financial needs, including reverse mortgages or using IRAs to finance a purchase.

I would love to help you or someone you know with your downsizing and rightsizing needs. I offer a free home value analysis. Please call anytime.

Local Artist Finds a Home

    Some of my clients operate a business out of their homes, which requires specialized and multi-functional spaces.

Cindy Briggs, an international artist, had very specific needs when we were searching for her home. Watch this month’s Market Minute to learn more about this fascinating woman and how she uses her home as an art gallery, on-line recording studio, and for teaching individual and small group lessons.

Finding just the right home can be a challenge. It is important to be willing to tour many homes, and having an open mind and being flexible will help as well.

Aging seniors and retirees may find newfound enjoyment in learning a new hobby, such as painting. Please visit for more info on art lessons!

January 2019 Market Update

Now that a new year has arrived, I’d like to just give a brief update of the current real estate market conditions.

For Utah County residents, here’s a quick summary of recent real estate stats – with a bit of good news for buyers!

·      Thanks to the government shutdown- interest rates are down around 4.375% (FHA/VA)

·      Most popular price range for home sales in Utah County is $200,000 – $350,000*

·      Homes in this range are on the market an average of 29 days*

·      For past 45 days in Utah County: Average list price was $346,234 / Average sold price was $345,884*

·      For same time period last year: Average list price was $335,140/Average sold price was $329,353* 

·      State of Utah – home values increased nearly 10% in 2018

·      State of Utah – Values are predicted to increase around 5% in 2019

If you have questions or would like a guide for preparing to buy or sell a home in 2019, please contact me. Thank you!

*Data retrieved from for the period December 1, 2018 – January 16, 2019

Market Minute: Home Inspections Benefit the Buyer and Seller

Are home inspections worth the money? Home Inspections benefit both the buyer and the seller during a home sale. A home inspector goes into attics and crawlspaces, where a homeowner or buyer wouldn’t normally go, checking for issues that could potentially save the homeowner thousands. Watch the video below to find out more.


Seniors Can Reap Big Benefits in Downsizing

There comes a certain time in many of our lives when we’re simply ready to move somewhere smaller. It could be because it’s becoming more difficult to manage a large property, the fact that the children have flown the coop, or even just because you want a change. There are numerous benefits to owning a smaller home from ease of cleaning to being more energy-conscious.

Here is a guide to help you get started.

How to pack the household for transport

Packing for a weekend getaway is one thing, but packing your entire house is quite another. The first part, and often the most difficult, is going through your things and coming up with what you can say goodbye to. A smaller space will, unfortunately, mean less room for things. Start by either going through your clothes and letting go of possessions that don’t fit or don’t make you feel good about yourself, or things you’ve not worn in over a year.

You could also start in your kitchen and get rid of the gadgets you don’t use, or the pots that are too big or too small for practical use. Once you have completed your purge, think about packing a first night box, full of stuff you will immediately need—from dinner supplies to your toothbrush and pajamas. For larger items, or if you simply have too much to do by yourself or with a partner, you may want to hire a company, not only to transport your items, but to pack them for you, too.

How to transition with pets

If you have pets, this is going to be a stressful experience for them. However, there are ways for you to mitigate their anxiety. If you stay calm through all the many stresses of moving, it will help your pet feel safe. If you introduce them to things slowly, it will help them as well. Take them for a few visits to the kennel where they will be staying during the move, introduce them to the new house or apartment before moving in, and get them crate-trained so they associate their crate with safety and comfort.

How to choose help

Research is going to be incredibly important during this time. You want a reliable moving company that is known for consistency and commitment to excellence. It’s one thing to get a recommendation from a friend, and that is often a good place to start, but you need to do a lot of digging. There are many websites you can visit to do some background checking, such as the Better Business Bureau, to get a few names. Once you have a few companies to pick from, get estimates and compare. It may be a lot of work, but it will be worth it to choose the best company possible for your budget.

How to take care of yourself

Moving is full of stress and uncertainty, so it’s extra important to take care of your own sense of well-being. Staying organized will help immensely when juggling the seemingly endless tasks ahead. Having a schedule will help keep you on track and succeed in keeping your blood-pressure down. Once you arrive at your new home, get each room organized so that you can really start the settling in process (this room-by-room guide will definitely help). Take your time unpacking each room, and as the moving boxes disappear, you’ll find that you are able to truly relax.

Balancing your schedule perfectly may not be enough to keep a level head, so find ways that work for you to relax. Whether it is working out every morning, doing yoga in the afternoon, reading your favorite or newest novel, or even taking a long hot bath twice a week, do something to unwind and keep yourself sane.

Downsizing can seem intimidating, but it’s worth it if it makes your life easier. Less things to look after, smaller spaces to clean, less stairs to navigate all can improve the quality of your life and open up more of your time to find things you enjoy. These truly are the golden years and rather than spend them cleaning a large house you just don’t need, make time for yourself and your loved ones and truly thrive.

Written by Lydia Chan

Patio Door Addition

One challenge with downsizing may be when your new smaller home does not exactly match your lifestyle. Here’s an example of how one of my clients adapted their home so they could more easily entertain outside. I love how they took the space they had and created a better, more usable space that works for their needs. It also brightens the home with natural sunlight from the south facing sliding glass door.


Understanding Alzheimer’s and Making Preparations for Care

Alzheimer’s disease is a debilitating form of dementia that’s common among people aged 65 and older. It is a serious brain disorder that has a significant impact on a person’s ability to perform daily activities, such as bathing, eating, and going to the bathroom. People who suffer with Alzheimer’s disease may exhibit confusion, aggression, or be completely unfamiliar with

Caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease

life-long friends and family. In the following post, we’ll cover a few simple ways to prepare your home for a loved one with this crippling condition. But first, a quick introduction to Alzheimer’s disease.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

As previously mentioned, Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia. It is a disease that begins slowly and affects the parts of the brain that control language, memory, and thought. According to the US National Library of Medicine, there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is not a mild cognitive impairment and, despite the availability of medications that can help manage symptoms, it is not a condition from which your loved one can recover.

According to Redfin, “Alzheimer’s disease affects about 5.4 million Americans, about 5.2 million of which are 65 and older. It can be your grandparent, your cousin, your sibling or even your parent who faces the diagnosis. Eventually, those with Alzheimer’s require round-the-clock care, and for many families, that means taking the loved one into their own home.”

If you’ve recently made the decision to handle your loved one’s care yourself, the following home preparations can help keep your family member safe and sound:

Start with the exterior – When possible, opt for a wheelchair ramp in lieu of steps. Even if the senior has thus far maintained his or her mobility and vision, Alzheimer’s can progress quickly, making something as seemingly mundane as walking up the stairs a difficult task. Make sure your home is fully fenced to prevent wandering, which is a common side effect of mid-to late-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Trim bushes and remove any plants that could be mistaken as edible.

In the bedroom – Offer your loved one a bedroom on the first floor of your home. This will give them easier access to the kitchen, bathroom, and common areas. Outfit their personal space with familiar belongings, such as photos of themselves at a younger age or keepsake family heirlooms. Avoid excess furniture and throw rugs as these items increase your loved one’s chances of having a trip and fall accident. The National Safety Council further recommends securing carpet to the floor and keeping daily items, such as clothing, readily accessible.

Bath and shower – The Mayo Clinic reports that those with Alzheimer’s disease may have trouble performing basic hygiene tasks, such as bathing. You should provide a safe and comfortable bathroom where your family member can continue their personal hygiene routine unassisted as long as possible. You can prolong their independence by keeping this room well-lit throughout the night and adding non-slip tiling at the exit of the bath or shower. Ideally, your loved one will have access to a no-profile shower or walk-in bathtub with safety grab bars already installed.

Common areas – While it is not necessary to give up everything that illustrates your sense of style, making a few accommodations for the individual with Alzheimer’s will make life easier for everyone. In the kitchen, keep your counters clear of clutter and ensure sharp knives and other dangerous tools are out of sight. Keep a functional fire extinguisher handy but hidden in a high cabinet. Your television, entertainment stands, and bookcases should be securely fastened to the wall. Clutter should be eliminated throughout the home. Install a safety gate at the top and bottom of stairways and clearly mark doors and window.

Not everyone with Alzheimer’s disease will present with the same symptoms at the same time. Only you can determine areas your loved one needs the most help. However, a few simple home modifications and an understanding of the disease will make things easier on your entire family.

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease, visit Cedars-Sinai’s Health Library

Written by Lydia Chan

The Least Expensive and Most Expensive States to Retire

Looking to relocate to retire? Where you live can make a big difference on your retirement fund.  I found this great info on  Wyoming tops the list, followed by Virginia, South Dakota, Alabama and Louisiana.


Article retrieved from: